When patients are considering mommy makeover surgery, one of their main concerns is the recovery process. This is especially true for mothers with children at home who may already be juggling work, car pools, and other responsibilities. Even though the recovery can be intimidating, the vast majority of our patients say the dramatic results are well worth the time needed to heal after surgery.
Each patient’s recovery is unique, but a general timeline can help you know what to expect. And knowing how to prepare for your recovery helps make the process go as smoothly as possible.
What’s Included in a Mommy Makeover?
One of the reasons mommy makeover surgery has become increasingly popular is that it combines multiple procedures during a single operation, meaning you only have to plan for one recovery. The combination typically includes a tummy tuck, liposuction, and cosmetic breast surgery. Patients often combine a breast lift with augmentation to elevate sagging breasts and add volume. Some patients also choose to include labiaplasty as part of the procedure.
Mommy Makeover Recovery Timeline
This general, week-by-week overview can help you plan ahead for your recovery. It is important to have all responsibilities, such as picking up prescription pain medication, handled before surgery, as you won’t have any drive to complete tasks while recovering.
Most patients return home on the day of the procedure. The first few days are the most intense part of the recovery. You’ll need to sleep on your back in an elevated position. Don’t expect to do anything but sleep, eat, go to the bathroom, and take short walks around the house to keep your blood circulating. To avoid putting tension on your incision, you’ll need to walk in a slightly hunched position during the first week.
Tip: Prepare and freeze or refrigerate meals before your surgery so that your partner and children can focus on supporting you. Also, make sure you have everything you need within arm’s distance of where you’ll be sleeping, such as your smartphone, TV remote, books, and water.
The discomfort peaks during the first week, but it’s still important to take it easy as you begin to feel better. At this point, most patients have transitioned from using prescription pain meds to over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen. When that occurs, you’ll be cleared to drive. You can begin working from home during the second week and return to an office job after 2 weeks. Taking short walks outside is fine, but don’t be surprised if you feel fatigued and need occasional naps. It’s also normal to still have some swelling and bruising.
Tip: Listen to your body. Getting enough rest is one of the most effective ways to heal. Also, don’t try to lift small children even if you feel you’re able.
Some patients start feeling a bit frustrated during the third week of recovery because they feel more energetic but are still limited physically. The desire to want to get back to “normal” and speed up recovery is something many people experience, but the body still needs time to heal. Continue to wear the compression garment around the clock; this helps reduce swelling.
Tip: If your spouse or partner works outside the home, don’t hesitate to call on friends or other family members for support. You’re close to the finish line but still need help around the house.
By now, bruising is likely gone, swelling is reduced, and you can wear the compression garment less frequently. You may be able to resume light cardio workouts—but back off if you experience any unusual discomfort. You may still notice some slight swelling along the tummy tuck incision. If you had breast augmentation during the procedure, you might notice the implants beginning the “drop-and-fluff” process as they settle into place.
Tip: If swimming is your primary form of exercise, you can get back in the pool after week 4.
Week 5 & Beyond
Unless you’ve experienced complications, you can now resume more intense exercise. It’s wise to get cleared by your surgeon if you have any doubts. Most patients feel back to normal both emotionally and physically and may want to celebrate their results with a trip to buy new clothes or swimwear. Your incisions should be healed, although it will take more time for them to fade.
Tip: If you’re planning a vacation, it’s best to wait until after week 5 to fly on an airplane.
If you’re in the Columbia area and considering a mommy makeover, whether you’re from Ellicott City, Baltimore, MD, or beyond, you can request a consultation using the online form. You can also contact our two convenient offices by phone at (410) 884-4200 (Ellicott City) or (410) 751-2348 (Westminster).